In my medical practice, I see patients 3½ days a week. I spend the rest of the week poring over scientific journals, reading medical books, listening to lectures, collaborating with colleagues, writing health blogs, and attending scientific conferences. As an active clinical researcher and lifelong learner, over the past 30 years, I have spent over 30,000 hours outside of the office searching for the latest medical information that can have far-reaching effects on your health and longevity.
As I was growing up, I would frequently ask my dad, “Any advice for us younger guys?” He would always jokingly reply, “Yeah. Don’t get old!,” to which I would always respond, “Man, if only!” How and why is it that young people generally don’t have heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, cataracts, autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, frailty, chronic fatigue, chronic infections, or poor wound healing? How and why are young people seemingly immune these diseases and conditions? How and why is it that they generally only affect us later in life?
Instead of studying how and why people get old and sick, we should study how and why people stay young and healthy. Instead of focusing on individual diseases, we should focus on keeping people biologically young. Instead of focusing on what’s making you sick, we should focus on what will make you well. Since aging is the central risk factor for all major diseases, we should intervene in the aging process itself rather than attempting to prevent and treat diseases one by one. For example, what would happen to the average lifespan if we cured the top two killers (heart disease and cancer)? We would increase it by only 3 years! However, if we take a “longevity” approach and slow the aging process, we can potentially increase average lifespan by 15-30 years, not to mention the improved quality of life.
Young people enjoy mental and physical vigor and absence of disease because the genes and biological pathways that promote longevity are highly active, and the genes and biological pathways that accelerate aging are suppressed. Together, this triggers built-in biological mechanisms designed to protect and rejuvenate normal cells and repair or replace abnormal cells. Unfortunately, as we age, our modern diet, unhealthy lifestyle, and exposure to environmental toxins gradually alter these genes and biological pathways, leaving us vulnerable to degeneration, disease, and premature death. Fortunately, we found a way around this and activate cellular protection, regeneration, and rejuvenation, leading to improved function and a return to a more youthful physiologic state.
Using a powerful and synergistic combination of simple dietary changes, time-restricted eating, periodic modified (“no hunger”) fasting, specialized strength training exercise, microdoses of specific medications, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, and naturally-occurring food compounds, we can activate the body’s innate ability to rejuvenate and regenerate itself at the cellular level. This highly-coordinated strategy provides an unprecedented opportunity to delay aging, extend lifespan, and restore and maintain health and vitality in the following ways:
- Activates genes, proteins, and biological pathways that promote longevity, such as SIRT1, SIRT3, AMPK, PCG1α, and IGFBP-3
- Inhibits genes, proteins, and biological pathways that accelerate aging, such as TOR-S6K, PKA, RAS, and IGF-1
- Promotes replacement of damaged cellular components and elimination of dysfunctional cells via autophagy and apoptosis
- Activates stem cell production and regeneration of tissue and vital organs
- Increases telomere length
- Reduces markers of oxidative stress and chronic systemic inflammation, such as 8-OHdG, hs-CRP, homocysteine, and fibrinogen
- Stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and improves mitochondrial function
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and autoimmune disorders
- Stimulates production of irisin (fat-burning hormone) and reduces visceral (intra-abdominal) fat
- Improves muscle mass and bone density
- Increases energy, strength, coordination, and balance
- Improves memory and mental clarity
- Reverses age-related immune system deterioration
- Speeds wound healing
- Improves skin texture and appearance
In the end, it really doesn’t matter how the body ages, whether by oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, shortening of telomeres, or some other mechanism. What matters is how the body stays young. Under this context, the strategy changes from protecting the body from further damage and redirects it to repair, replacement, and regeneration. This is how we harness the power to prevent and reverse disease and live longer and healthier!
Staying young and healthy for as long as possible requires intimate knowledge of what causes disease at the molecular and cellular level, and a thorough understanding of how to return those molecules and cells to their youthful and fully-functioning state. Therefore, it is crucial to follow the advice of a doctor like myself who has a deep understanding of the complex relationship between metabolism, nutrition, aging, and disease. Over the past 30 years, I have helped thousands of patients prevent and overcome chronic disease, and achieve better health and increased longevity. For more information, visit HealthyAndStrong.com.
Note: Doctors who don’t practice what they preach are probably not worth your time. All of my credentials as a physician would be meaningless and my professional integrity would be lacking if I did not live by my words. Because my health is important to me, and because I believe in leading by example, I practice what I preach. Despite poor genetics, the excellent health I enjoy is a result of the same proactive, preventive approach I provide my patients. I have never been healthier or in better shape, been more productive, or had more energy than I do now. Like me, may you stay forever young!